Linux Graphics Tablet Touch Toggle

Ubuntu based distros don’t have any method of easily turning off the finger touch on graphics tablets. I find this annoying because it gets in my way a lot.

So I made a script for Linux. It should work on just about any Ubuntu based distro, it might work on others too, but I’m not familiar with anything else.

There a few steps involved, but overall it shouldn’t be too hard:

1. Find out your device name

To do this, enter the command below into a terminal, you do not need root access:

xsetwacom list

This should output something that looks like this:

Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Pen stylus	id: 13	type: STYLUS
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Finger touch	id: 14	type: TOUCH
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Pad pad   	id: 15	type: PAD
Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Pen eraser	id: 21	type: ERASER

You can use IDs to make the script work, but I recomend using the name, as it won’t change even if your USB layout does.

In my case I need the one with type: TOUCH, that would be line 2. Simply copy the name, for me that’s Wacom Bamboo 16FG 4x5 Finger touch.

2. Make this script

Below I have the script laid out. Change any instance of [DEVICE NAME HERE] to the name you copied from the last step. Leave the quotes.

WACOMSTATUS=$(xsetwacom get "[DEVICE NAME HERE]" touch)

if [ "$WACOMSTATUS" = "on" ]
    xsetwacom set "[DEVICE NAME HERE]" touch off
    notify-send 'Finger Touch Off' -i cs-tablet
elif [ "$WACOMSTATUS" = "off" ]
    xsetwacom set "[DEVICE NAME HERE]" touch on
    notify-send 'Finger Touch On' -i cs-tablet
    notify-send 'Tablet Not Found' -i aptdaemon-error

Save it as a .sh file by any name. Then mark as executable by going through the file properties. You can change the icon that notify-send uses by changing the name after -i to something that’s in your icons folder. Located at /usr/share/icons.

You could stop here, but I find it’s nice to be able to access this through the menu or desktop. So let’s continue!

3. OPTIONAL Create Desktop File

On the Cinnamon desktop, this is rather trivial, simply put your script somewhere safe and then right click on the desktop and press + Create New Launcher here. Then use the prompt to make a .desktop file. This tutorial will show the harder, but should-work-everywhere method, though.

Below, I have the .desktop file laid out. Replace [WHEREVER YOUR SCRIPT IS] with the path for your scrip. Be sure to have the entire path, ie: /home/$USER/bin/scripts/file.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Toggle Wacom Finger Touch

Save this as a .desktop file, and drop it into your /home/$USER/.local/share/applications directory.

You can also put it in /usr/share/applications so every user can have access to it.

That’s it!

Thank you for reading, please let me know what I can improve upon or if I’ve done something blatantly wrong here.

PS: This isn’t what will be normally posted on this webstie, it’s mostly an art blog. I love tech though, and I’ll be posting any weird solutions I come up with in the future.